ISTJ
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The ISTJ at Work

At work, ISTJs are dependable and meticulous. ISTJs take deadlines and specifications very seriously, and work independently and systematically to complete the tasks they are given. ISTJs value a stable work environment with clear expectations and few surprises. They are at their best when they can create detailed plans of action and follow them with little deviation.

Although ISTJs may like to do quite a bit of their work independently, they often appreciate the value of participating on a team as well, especially if their colleagues are reasonable and businesslike and there is a clear hierarchy so that they know who is in charge.

An ideal job for an ISTJ allows them to solve logical problems in an orderly way. An ideal work environment for an ISTJ is quiet, organized, and structured, with rules and regulations that are well established and clearly adhered to by all.

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Top Careers for the ISTJ

Popular Careers for ISTJs

Top careers for the ISTJ include:

Business and Financial
Math
Office and Administrative Support
Management
Architecture and Engineering
Life, Physical, and Social Science
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
Transportation and Material Moving
Production
Entertainment and Sports
Healthcare
Construction and Extraction
Media and Communication
Education, Training, and Library
Sales
Computer and Information Technology
Protective Service
Legal
Military
Community and Social Service

ISTJ Careers to Avoid

It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the ISTJ, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to the ISTJ. Occupations that require the ISTJ to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to ISTJs who are choosing a career.

The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among ISTJs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.

The ISTJ on a Team

ISTJs are dependable, task-oriented team members. They tend to clarify goals in specific, concrete terms, and look for established standards by which to measure the team’s outcomes. ISTJs prefer a structured team environment where the rules are clear and everyone has a specific set of duties. They work systematically and examine work meticulously, making sure that the details are correct and that the team’s product meets expectations.

ISTJs are very task focused and generally do not want to spend much time debating process; they prefer to just get on with it. Similarly, too much abstract discussion of concepts without a clear action plan will tend to irritate the ISTJ. ISTJs are businesslike in their approach and often have little patience for team members who want to discuss emotions or relationships. They tend to feel that addressing personal issues in a work environment is inappropriate and interferes with the team’s productivity.

The ISTJ as a Leader

As leaders, ISTJs are clear about expectations and procedures. They are action-oriented and practical, and lead their teams to achieve specified outcomes within clear time frames. ISTJs are often attracted to leadership positions because of their natural inclination to organize processes and deliver measurable results.

ISTJs prefer not to improvise and are most comfortable leading in their own areas of expertise, with employees that have demonstrated competence in the field. They often prefer to work within predetermined guidelines and may find it a challenge to innovate or take on projects with no clear standards or expectations.

ISTJs are not typically skilled at politics, and may sometimes overlook niceties in their drive to control process and achieve team goals. They typically motivate their teams by demonstrating a strong work ethic, and are unlikely to initiate personal relationships or offer effusive praise.

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Comments

Anony Mous (not verified) says...

Man, this is great. It almost describes me perfectly. Did someone hack life for this? Issomeone tracking me right now? :v

Hildy (not verified) says...

ISTJ Born in August. Not totally a description of this personality type. I have a B.A. in Literature, a B.S. in Accounting and I work as Tax Compliance Officer too serious lol. Reality is I'm an avid photographer, I paint, write poetry, volunteer in shelters, I'm a CERT member, I have built housing for the underprivileged, volunteered in health counseling, I learned roofing, plumbing and the list goes on. All my friends and coworkers say I'm extremely sociable and super friendly so it baffles me that I have scored ISTJ. Not one single person that knows me or might meet me finds me cold or distant but rather funny, compassionate and super open minded, at least that's what I have been told :). I believe there's a spectrum to things, therefore one label doesn't define the complexity of the human soul.

Gangari the Wanderer (not verified) says...

First of all, you're right that this isn't a full description of the ISTJ, and that there definitely IS a spectrum for all of this which the typical MBTI guide generally doesn't take into account for simplicity's sake (typically, they just describe the average/stereoptypical type for each and then move on).

For each personality type they basically just describe what a type looks like based on their primary two thought functions (in this case, Si and Te).  But in reality, as people age and develop mentally, some of the weaker functions (for an ISTJ, Fi and Ne) begin to present themselves more prominently and can make them seem quite different from the stereotypical type.  The fact that you're saying you have a B.A. in literature and a B.S. in accounting supports this, since the accounting would be the "stereotypical" trade for an ISTJ, but there are PLENTY of ISTJs that have developed their intuitive and feeling functions enough to not only enjoy but also be good at analyzing literature or pursuing something artistic (like your photography).

Suggestion: check out the description of the ENFP (the "shadow type" of the ISTJ--same functions but in opposite order).  If you are either a well-developed ISTJ OR a well-developed ENFP, you could very easily get either type in a test like this.

EDP445 (not verified) says...

man these r good test

EDP446 (not verified) says...

You are a legend...

The maskked demon (not verified) says...

this is actually terrifingly accurate if you want to see your personality described perfectly this is perfect for you.

Amy7474 (not verified) says...

I am a female ISTJ, and 20 years ago I would have said this describes me to a T. It still does, but as I get older, many of the characteristics are more relaxed than they used to be. I thrive in order and organization and predictability; but I try to add spontenaity to my life, or at least be flexible, so that I can say I had some fun along the way. This description says we are not tactful; but maybe because I am female, I have always had tact in my toolbox of dealing with people. Now, what I am thinking and what I am saying may be two different things, but I try not to hurt people's feelings. However, I do prefer directness in conversation, especially business dealings, because how else are we ever supposed to get anything done? I have little patience for emotional outbursts (drama), indecisiveness, manipulative behavior, and lying.

I fully realize that I can come across as aloof and reserved, so I actively try not hold on to that tendency so tightly and try to step out of my comfort zone and find something inane to say to people, just to appear friendly. It's really hard for me in large groups or with people I don't know. However, in small groups or with good friends or even acquaintances, I feel like I can hold my own. I crave intellectual or deep conversation, and I hate small talk, which is why I am generally more comfortable with men than with women. I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have intelligence and integrity, values I admire and respect.

I definitely took on a traditional gender role as a mother, something I don't regret. However, it was a source of stress at times, because my intellectual side was not nurtured during this period; also, I didn't feel in control of my life during this time, and ISTJs value predictability. However, being present to raise my children was also a value, and their needs trumped my own.

Like several others have mentioned, I feel like I can be hilariously funny. I have a knack for noticing oddities and making a joke out of it; I really crack myself up! On the flip side, my kids think I'm horribly corny, so I suppose it's a matter of opinion. LOL But I do have a good sense of humor; I love to laugh, and I don't take myself too seriously. I enjoy goofing around with the kids and the pets. It's hard for me to be around people who are easily offended. Even though I might appear cold-hearted around strangers, I am definitely open and warm hearted around those I love! Just have to be careful around certain family members because not everyone can take a joke.

I have great relationships with my Sensing family members, and tumultuous relationships with my Intuiting family members. As a mom, it took me quite a while to learn that my kids did not inherit my personality, traditions, or values. My eldest was a mystery to me for a long time. However, because I am so introspective, I try to be honest with myself ABOUT myself, as well as try to understand those around me. That may set me apart from other ISTJs, because understanding motives is very important to me - my own and others. So even if I don't understand someone, I still make a point in making sure they understand that I love them and accept them they way they are.

Melanie. (not verified) says...

I think you are my twin :)

Melanie. (not verified) says...

I think you are my twin :)

Adam223 (not verified) says...

tell me why i am 15. Having to do a project about this and this ISTJ relates to me all the way I find it crazy that this test was accurate 

EDD240 (not verified) says...

My gosh! You've pretty much described me to a 'T'!

 

AM 77 (not verified) says...

In the facts section, I have to disagree about ISTJ being more frequent in the Afican American community. Most African Americans, as well as most blacks in general, are more intuitive (n) and emotional (f).

Not to say there are no black ISTJs because there are, like Evander Holyfield, but the personality in not the majority in their communities.

IS (not verified) says...

What makes you say that? Where are you pulling these stats from?

AM 77 (not verified) says...

No stats, experience.

Perhaps (not verified) says...

Could it be that you are more likely to interact with or see african american people who have those personality type indicators (N, F). Or perhaps tend to remember the more Emotional qualities as they stand out more or are more memberable?

Perhaps, consider what experience do you have, how is that shaped, living with, media based? In depth conversation? Sample size?  

AM 77 (not verified) says...

All in all though, when it comes to the balance of creativity and analyzing,  the black community has more creativity which shows more like you said,  it is vice versa with me.  The other reply is mine as well but I'm still half asleep and it went under the name guest.

Guest (not verified) says...

First, experience is not synonymous with media.  Second, I have lived in every type of community there is in America and chatted with all walks of life around the globe.  Third, there is no so called coincidence when it comes to majorities and experience (as well as anything else for that matter).

Learner (not verified) says...

Hey, I was going to scroll past but I thought to let you know that you could be wrong. I am fully African and I am of this personality type and know others who are too. I have not traveled out of Africa yet either, so maybe the blacks you have met are mostly "abroad" . Of course, the type description is not going to be 100% accurate for everyone as I also believe that other things like environment and background can influence one's personality as well. I also believe one can learn to change certain aspects of themselves and learn any skill if they really wanted to, so the thing about careers, creativity, style and humor being different for different people even though they are of the same personality, is really not surprising to me. I am very creative and in fact I think one of my gifts is learning new skills (still discovering myself of course) but I took the test and wanted to read more about the personality type and I find this article to describe me up to 85%. 

keegan7567452850906747635 (not verified) says...

how tf does it know what im going for in college thats crazy i wanted to be an accountant and go in at a commisioned officer and it calls all those things out I love chess and golf and it still calls me out im kinda weirded out by this tbh.

Ives (not verified) says...

I’ve been taking this test every few months for about 8 years since I discovered it. Thinking it would help me define who I was and make it simple to plan my future career. I always hated getting ISTJ and would often subconsciously answer with wishful thinking to receive e.g. INFP. I just really didn’t like the idea of being reserved and cold (negatively connotated descriptions). I guess I just wasn’t ready to accept myself. 8 years of trying to be something I’m not kind of seems like a waste, but I guess now that I’ve finally accepted ISTJ I’ll just keep progressing as my true authentic self in my personal life and in a few years a perfectly suited career. Too bad society frowns upon a lot of our characteristics. Maybe I would have accepted myself sooner if it wasn’t this way. 

Magpie59 (not verified) says...

Hi Ives,

Your comment affected me.

Did you know that there are a lot of variations within the same type? You can have two ISTJs, and they may seem quite different. Each Letter is weighted between the two extremes for that category, for example introverted vs. extroverted. When you take the full 100 question test, the results would include the percentage that you have in each category. I'm telling you this, although I realize you may already know, (but again you may not if you have taken the test over 8 years and have fretted that you are the "same" type). I am an ENFP and have become more introverted as I have aged. I also use logic more than I did when younger. Now, although my N is still overwhelmingly skewed to 80%, my other letters are weighted at 60/40 which means closer to a healthy balance between the 2 extremes. I hope you realize the value of your strengths, and have developed ways of overcoming perceived weaknesses, just like all of us have to do. Loving who you are ensures that you attract the kind of people who like you - exactly as you are!! So do not fret!!  :)

Wishing you well, Dee.

Sharon says...

Thank you, Dee. Your kindness touches me. And it is true. Ives, you are a unique individual, you are full of potential, you are loved, and you are far more complex than a simple personality test!

All the best to you!

Sharon

Amy7474 (not verified) says...

I love being an ISTJ and it suits me so well. I wonder if your problem was because of your parents' personality types? I was raised by an ESTJ, and we are like two peas in a pod. I conformed really well to their expectations. However, my sisters are much more "feelings" people and have a lot more complicated relationships with my parents, which I believe affected their self-esteem. So I wonder if you were raised with more intuitive or feeling parents.

Like someone else said, ISTJ females don't come across and popular and feminine, usually - I never cared about that, but maybe some do. I always wished I was more "fun" in high school and college, but as an adult I think I'm just as fun as anyone else, as long as I'm with the right people. Some things get better with age, and ISTJ is one of them.

AM 77 (not verified) says...

Ives, I'm a proud ISTJ and yes a lot of people frown upon us, but most Istjs (including me) don't care what people think because we're not people pleasers, you (as well as everybody in all 16 categories) should try that .  It's the first step to being a true alpha.

Stew (not verified) says...

I absolutely love this response!!! 

ShannonG (not verified) says...

Why would you WANT to be an infp?  I am one, and trust me it's a painful experience.  My mom is ISTJ, and she's dependable, productive, and reliable.  Me.. not so much.   I'm a failure to her.  Be happy, you're every employers dream worker, for one thing.  Good luck!

AM 77 (not verified) says...

Read my response to Ives, it may help you out with your situation.  Your right about the dream worker part, but it's no prize considering that employers can take advantage of the hardest workers unless the latter calls the employer out (I always call them out).  

POOLIE (not verified) says...

Are you female? Cause I can see your point completely. Just because the world expects females to be bubbly smile and have a face full of expression. 

If I get told one more time to smile more... 

I've never rejected my type, I'm well going on 36 and just recently discovered my personality type and I feel if I had known this sooner maybe I would have let some of the comments slide... No, no I wouldn't have, I'd have thrown so much damn ISTJ information in their face and said it's just the way I am! 

The older I get the easier it gets, you just get more comfortable with yourself. I am happy the way I am, I love all the things about me, I am the most loyal person you'll ever meet and most trustworthy. I Don't beat around the bush. I'm creative and I get stuff done. I have a stunning sense of humor to boot. The feelings thing tho, being reserved in communication and emotion and intimacy, now that, that I would love to change. To be a feeler when I need to be, in those situations, I'd kill for that. But now I realize that's just not possible, not how were built. We need to work on our other strengths to mitigate our weakness. I'm realizing at 36, I hope you get an earlier jump on the game. Cause it really is quite beneficial to be ISTJ! 

Suppeeps (not verified) says...

Ok, so im curious if anyof you are geminis bc im wondering if its just more likely for geminis to be ISTJ

HSquaredISTJ (not verified) says...

No, not Gemini.  I'm a Libra that's married to a Gemini...

Amy7474 (not verified) says...

Do ISTJs really believe in zodiac? I thought we were into logic and reason.

Audra 5 (not verified) says...

Exactly! Judging someone solely off their birth month is illogical. 

 

Tina Quintana (not verified) says...

Im a Virgo

KaraLebel (not verified) says...

I am a scorpio and being an ISTJ fits like every personality trait of being a scorpio. Lol. 

NotKaraLebel (not verified) says...

Same, I do agree with what u say as well.

Istj here (not verified) says...

Capricorn and an ISTJ.I feel like my zodiac is a match to ISTJ

Doraleo (not verified) says...

I'm a LEO.. I'm supposed to be outgoing and center of it all, yet i am an ISTJ who prefers to be left alone.  I feel more pulled in different directions... like one day i'm full of energy and want to talk to people and the next day i just want to be alone..  I'm really having a hard time trying to find a career.  I have worked in sales, graphic designer, office work, warehouse, market representative, etc...  I seem like i can't find what i like to do...  I'm 40 and still looking for a career. how sad! 

Mario (not verified) says...

This personality describes me perfectly. I'm in a career that fits me perfectly as well. I work in radiology as a sonographer. It's a cerebral profession that requires critical thinking skills. We essentially help diagnose a patient's condition based on the ultrasound we perform. This might be a career for you to look into. Or anything in the science field.

rtuttle123 (not verified) says...

Don't feel bad Leo, I am right there with you. I haven't tried as much of a variety of different careers as you have but I have been in a few different positions that required me to be more outgoing than I am comfortable with so I feel you there. I too have not found my career but am ok with it because I working to be self employeed which will give me the freedom to pick and choose when and how I interact with people.

You may be feeling pulled in different directions because you are more ambivert (mix of introvert and extrovert) which is what my wife is. Our personlaities are also shaped by the social situations we have been in. If you grew up in a family of extroverts you probably have had to be more social than you would have liked which would lead to you overcoming the introvert tendancy to a degree. 

Introversion/Extroversion also refers to how we "recharge" ourselves. Think of how you feel after a long day of work. What would you rather do to feel better, go out with some friends/family or just hang out at the house and immerse yourself in an activity where you do not have to have social interactions? This seems to give us a better view of what our I/E type is if you are having mixed feelings.

Ives (not verified) says...

No. I’m a Virgo. Seems to me like more virgos would be istj than Gemini. A lot of my Gemini friends are very social and bubbly. 

hedige (not verified) says...

Another Virgo here! ISTJs are probably mostly Virgoes...

MICHAEL REVELS (not verified) says...

Sorry your all wrong its aquarius that fits istj personalities best.

Joseph Smith (not verified) says...

I'm a libra, and ISTJ. I was born in '88. The year of the Dragon.

Jewels (not verified) says...

I am also a Libra ISTJ and female. People usually perceive me as cold and calculating at work but as they get to know me over time they appreciate my loyalty and reliability. I am also a Budget Analyst and enjoy the structure and regulations of my job. This personality description fits me to a t

munini (not verified) says...

Same here.

POOLIE (not verified) says...

Agree, Virgo here too.

John D. (not verified) says...

I am an ISTJ male and I have typed as ISTJ since I was 15 (I'm 33 now). I can relate to the whole "being seen as cold" thing. It's especially challenging when highly emotionally people expect a highly emotional response from me. It just isn't going to happen. Even when I feel things strongly, it's all internal. That also keeps me from ripping into someone who has offended me. 

 One thing that is a little different for me than what is stated by MBTI is that I am pretty funny and my humor isn't necessarily dry and offbeat as they say. My more serious side is usually catered to when it's time to get work done. I am a little less reserved than some of my ISTJ buddies and I think it's because of culture as well. Even though I always type ISTJ, it's usually a 55/45 split I/E respectively. Tests that include Ambivert often says that I am an ambivert. 

Howdy (not verified) says...

Howdy

Chris911 (not verified) says...

I bet 90 % of the people in the comments section are minors :)) 1. The test is just for entertainment purposes only nowadays. 2. Guys, why are you mad? That they told you are narrow minded? :)) that does not mean you are stupid or something. 

SimonM (not verified) says...

While the personality type describes a lot about the behaviours and attitudes, it doesn't define who we are.

We must be careful to not use labels else we use them as an excuse, a crutch, defence. We are so much more than a pigeon holed character. 

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